George Galloway considering running for Mayor of London

The Respect MP appears to have already grown tired of Bradford.

It's just a year since George Galloway hailed the "Bradford spring" after winning the Bradford West by-election but the Respect MP has already set his sights on a bigger prize. In video footage unearthed by Liberal Conspiracy, Galloway grandly tells Russia Today presenter Max Keiser that he has "a committee which is seriously looking at the prospect of [me] running for Mayor of London at the next election." He adds: "I’d like to fight Boris Johnson, and I think David Cameron probably wishes I’d be fighting Boris Johnson because if I’m not, Boris Johnson is back in Parliament fighting him."

Since Boris has already ruled out standing for a third term, it's unlikely that Galloway will get the chance to fight him (and rather more likely that the Mayor will be back in the Commons). But just as he stood down as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow after serving just a single term, it look as if the old carpetbagger has already grown tired of Bradford. 

George Galloway returned to parliament last year after winning the Bradford West by-election. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Theresa May's Brexit stance could come at a political cost

The Prime Minister risks raising unrealistic expectations among Leave backers.

Good morning. For Leavers, there's only one more sleep before Christmas: tomorrow Tim Barrow will moonlight as a courier and hand-deliver Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50 to Donald Tusk and Britain's Brexit talks will start.

Well, sort of. That we're pulling the trigger in the middle of, among other things, the French elections means that the EU27 won't meet to discuss May's exit proposals for another month. (So that's one of 23 out of 24 gone!)

The time pressure of the Article 50 process - which, its author Colin Kerr tells Politico was designed with the expulsion of a newly-autocratic regime in mind rather than his native country - disadvantages the exiting nation at the best of times and if there is no clear winner in the German elections in October that will further eat into Britain's negotiating time.

That Nigel Farage has announced that if the Brexit deal doesn't work out he will simply move abroad may mean that Brexit is now a win-win scenario, but heavy tariffs and customs checks seem a heavy price to pay just to get shot of Farage.

What are the prospects for a good deal? As I've written before, May has kept her best card - Britain's status as a net contributor to the EU budget - in play, though the wholesale rejection of the European Court may cause avoidable headaches over aviation and other cross-border issues where, by definition, there must be pooling of sovereignty one way or another.

That speaks to what could yet prove to be May's biggest mistake: she's done a great job of reassuring the Conservative right that she is "one of them" as far as Brexit is concerned. But as polling for BritainThinks shows, that's come at a cost: expectations for our Brexit deal are sky high. More importantly, the average Brexit voter is at odds with the Brexit elite over immigration. David Davis has once again reiterated that immigration will occasionally rise after we leave the EU. A deal in which we pay for single market access, can strike our own trade deals but the numbers of people coming to Britain remain unchanged might work as far as the British economy is concerned. May might yet come to regret avoiding an honest conversation about what that entails with the British public.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.